Iowa State Background Check

Background checks with information derived from centralized state databases are important tools employers can use when screening potential employees. While not every offense is a deal breaker for employers, working with all the information at your disposal is essential. makes securing this information straightforward and simple for employers in Iowa by providing thorough Iowa state background checks. We also offer state-level checks for 29 other states.

The central criminal repository in Iowa is maintained by the Division of Criminal Investigation in the Iowa Department of Public Safety. The information in this database covers all 99 counties in Iowa, including Linn, Polk, Scott, and Black Hawk counties. Reports include information on arrests, convictions, sentences, and all other related law enforcement information made available under state law.

What may be reported on a state criminal history search?

  • Jurisdiction where record is recorded
  • Case number
  • Defendant
  • Charge
  • Filing date
  • Degree of offense, such as a misdemeanor
  • Disposition
  • Disposition date
  • Sentence

Criminal Record Restrictions

Iowa has chosen to institute very few restrictions on criminal background checks ordered in the state for the purposes of employment. However, despite the state's lack of regulations, employers must remember their obligations to provide fair and equal opportunities to all applicants as per the FCRA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. 

Before making any adverse employment decisions based on criminal histories, consider the guidelines outlined in those statutes. The following serves as an at-a-glance guide to what employers can expect to encounter when ordering background reports in Iowa. 

Arrest Records

Employers are not restricted in their ability to request and use arrest records during the application process. However, the use of arrest records that did not yield a conviction may expose you to discrimination complaints and should be used with caution, per the Human Rights Commission.

Conviction Records

Iowa does not restrict employers who wish to use conviction records in their considerations. Again, the Human Rights Commission suggests employers consider factors such as rehabilitation efforts and the time elapsed since the conviction rather than using criminal history as an absolute bar to employment.

Ban the Box

No county or state-level ban the box law exists in Iowa.

Credit Checks

Employers do not face restrictions outside of the FCRA on the ways in which they can inquire into and use applicant credit information.


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